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May 11, 2015

Tesco’s data analytics firm draws interest from Nielsen

US data giant joins list of potential buyers including WPP and TPG.


Tesco‘s sale of its data analytics firm is attracting the interest of worldwide marketing and data giants.

According to the Sunday Times, Nielsen, the US data company, has joined the list of potential buyers, which currently includes Martin Sorrell’s advertising firm WPP and US venture capital firm TPG.

Goldman Sachs was hired in the early part of 2015 to explore a partial or total sale of the business.

Tesco currently uses the business to analyse data from its Clubcard service. When it was pioneered in the 1990s, the UK retail scene was revolutionised by the application of customer purchase data to predict future buying patterns.

Dunnhumby now boasts clients including Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and GlaxoSmithKline. In the event of a sale, Tesco would presumably remain a client of the firm.

CEO Dave Lewis, charged with turning the retailer’s performance around after an accounting scandal rocked it to its core, is selling off 43 stores as well as non-core parts of the business to try and raise cash.

So far, TV streaming service Blinkbox has been sold to TalkTalk for £5 million. It was also recently reported that the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Tesco Mobile might be sold.

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